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'Make Up or Break Up' is the ultimate comedy test for local couples

The monthly show at Good Good Comedy Theater sheds light on real-life couples' relationships.
Make Up or Break Up contestants Alex and Vicki Perlman participate in the show's "roast battle." | Good Good Comedy Theater
Make Up or Break Up contestants Alex and Vicki Perlman participate in the show's "roast battle." Good Good Comedy Theater

One of the hottest TV game shows of the 1970s and 1980s was The Newlywed Game. On each episode, real-life couples would appear and test exactly how well they knew each other. While the game show may be long gone these days, a  live, local offering is available for viewing every month of the year.

"Make Up or Break Up" is one of the most popular recurring shows at Good Good Comedy Theater in Chinatown. Held on the last Saturday of each month, it will be closing a very successful 2017 on Saturday, December 30. The show is co-hosted by its creators, Philadelphia comedians John Deary and Alyssa al-Dookhi, and features three couples who are asked about the “less ideal” aspects of their relationships. Naturally, this makes for excellent live theater.

“Audiences can expect a lot of funny, tense, or awkward moments in which we make fun of our contestants, their relationships, and especially our hosts,” Deary said. “Couples can expect to share the worst dates they’ve been on, the biggest fights they’ve ever had, and the meanest thing their partner has ever said to them. We also hope to prod and pick at any insecurities and secrets they might have.”

Deary explained that the show, which has been running since July 2016, was inspired by couples’ game nights that would inevitably turn ugly.

“It was always pretty funny to everyone else…and to me in retrospect as it was me getting into these fights a bunch of times,” Deary revealed. “I wanted to package that dysfunction as a comedy show.”

The December 30 show will shine the spotlight on real-life couples Jacquie Baker and Matthew Schmid (who co-produce the comedy troupe The Incredible Shrinking Matt and Jacquie), Brandon T. Gorin and Bevin Hensley, and Jeff Roser and Chloe Martin. What can these couples expect after the show has concluded and personal details of theirs have been shared with a live audience?

“A majority of couples definitely have fun,” Deary said. “There are a few people who didn’t love us and held a bit of a grudge after the show, and maybe two break-ups that are definitely our fault.”

Deary also said that Make Up or Break Up is always looking for contestants. He and al-Dookhi invite real-life couples to introduce themselves after each show for possible appearances on future outings—if they dare!

If you go:
Saturday, Dec. 30
8:00 p.m., $10
Good Good Comedy Theater
215 N. 11th St.
goodgoodcomedy.com